Last Updated: Nov 29, 2014
Gallop down the beach, amble through back country roads, trot through pastures, along ridges and careen through narrow rainforest switchbacks on the original off-road transportation. Horseback riding is one of Costa Rica's most popular activities. With professional outfits offering tours for riders of all abilities in nearly every destination, horseback riding is one of the most natural, relaxing and fun way to experience the majesty of Costa Rica's landscapes. Enjoy a half-day excursion or pursue an adventure on multi-day trips where a variety of terrains are explored.
The province of Guanacaste is known as cowboy country. Extensive cattle and horse ranches with open plains and forested trails offer perfect spots for a leisurely ride or spirited gallop. The area around Rincon de La Vieja National Park features horseback riding with trips to hot springs, waterfalls and bubbling mud pots. Beginner and seasoned riders can arrange horseback excursions near the beach towns of Tamarindo and Flamingo. Popular trips visit surrounding hills and pastures. Gallops along the Nicoya Peninsula beaches of Montezuma shouldn't be missed!
Beaches, waterfalls and rainforests make up most of the central Pacific’s horseback riding tours. Quepos and Manuel Antonio have a variety of half-day and multi-day trips to secluded waterfalls and coffee farms. In the beach town of Jaco, riders can discover backcountry roads and natural springs on a guided tour. Half or full-day excursions are available, and horses are matched to rider according to ability.
North high & lowlands
There are many beautiful places to see in the mountainous areas of Monteverde and Arenal. Several tours pass through guava and coffee farms, traversing rivers and scenic valleys. Sunset tours offer breathtaking views of the Gulf of Nicoya. Arenal is an agricultural town with several horse ranches providing excursions to the La Fortuna Waterfall and Arenal Volcano. Some outfits feature full-day horseback ride tours from the cloud forest town of Monteverde to Arenal and vice versa while your luggage is transported by car to your hotel.
Helpful Hints: Be prepared to ride in the rain and wear boots (or tennis shoes) and long pants. Most companies provide large ponchos on tours. A hat is helpful for sunny and rainy days. Tours can be arranged with local tour companies, but be wary of outfits offering dirt-cheap prices; they will often use horses that are overworked and underfed.